London, South Kensington
30 November 2001
DODGSON, Charles Lutwidge (i.e. Lewis Carroll, 1832-1898). Autograph inscription, 'H.M. Paget from the Inventor. Ap[ril]. 1890', on The Wonderland Postage-Stamp Case, comprising the stamp-holder, inscribed in violet ink on the inner side, and the outer stamp case. FIRST EDITION, 1889 (the outer case bearing the caption 'Price One Shilling' but not the publisher's name); both parts opened out and attached to an album leaf (the stamp case worn at edges, small ink blots on the stamp-holder); together with an autograph fragment signed ('Very truly yours C.L.Dodgson Love to Gladys').
RARE. The idea for the stamp-holder, with stitched pockets to hold 12 stamps of different values, and its case appears to have occurred to Dodgson in October 1888. 'The case and cover each bear two coloured pictures of Alice, and are so arranged as to form two "Surprises" for on pulling out the case, the cover picture of Alice holding the Duchess's baby turns into Alice holding the pig, and on the other side the Cheshire Cat, whole and entire, turns into the well-known residual smile of that quadruped ... This rare first issue seems to have been distributed before the formal publication' [in June 1890] when the holder and case were issued with Eight or Nine Wise Words about Letter-Writing (Williams, Madan and Green. The Lewis Carroll Handbook, 1991). The earliest datable copy of the 1st edition (in the Parrish collection) was presented to Dodgson's sister Louisa in March 1890, shortly before the presentation of this.
Henry Marriott Paget (1856-1936), was a successful artist and illustrator, and Gladys was his eldest daughter. In 1885 Dodgson lent his studio in Oxford to Dr Linnell for Paget to work on his portrait, and in June he recorded in his diary that he had visited Paget and met his 'two charming little girls'.
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
VAT rate of 17.5% is payable on buyer's premium.
Christie’s specialists discuss Haring, Banksy and Stik, and how to bring the street into the home
Offered on 6 December in London, Anthony van Dyck’s Portrait of Princess Mary, Daughter of King Charles I of England